Breathing in, I am free.

Breathing out, I pour out love and grace.

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So what? Should we sin because we aren’t under Law but under grace? Absolutely not! Don’t you know that if you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, that you are slaves of the one whom you obey? That’s true whether you serve as slaves of sin, which leads to death, or as slaves of the kind of obedience that leads to righteousness.

Romans 6:15-16

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HBO’s hit Westworld presents a chilling sci-fi concept — in a futuristic age, how would we distinguish between a human being and a highly advanced humanoid robot? The Westworld creators introduce a simple but equally chilling answer, that no matter how free or human they feel, robots will always obey their programming, making them utterly inhuman.

If we live under God’s unlimited grace, can we just keep hurting ourselves and our world? The question itself is faulty, Paul says. If we fall completely into God’s grace and freedom, we simply won’t cling to sin so much. But if we remain slaves to our fear and shame, if judgment is our programming, we will inevitably obey it and continue our harmful patterns, no matter how free we feel.

Unlike futuristic robots, we get to choose what controls our lives. Paul urges us to put away silly questions and decide what will have power over our life: fear and destruction or God’s never-ending compassion. A holy or wholly captive life will follow naturally.

Blake Tommey

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God of freedom, I don’t want to keep hurting myself and others even though your grace has released me from the shame and fear of it. Program in me a freedom and a grace that transforms my hurtful patterns of thought and action into patterns that alleviate suffering and spread mercy. Amen.

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I see my light come shining
From the west unto the east.
Any day now, any day now,
I shall be released.

from “I Shall Be Released” by Bob Dylan, 1967

Blake Tommey

Blake Tommey is a minister and writer living in Charlottesville, Virginia. Alongside his wife Lesley-Ann, who will begin serving as CBF field personnel in New York City in October, Blake continues to live out a calling to seek wholeness for people, through music, writing and ministry in the church.

How Great Thou Art

Clay Mottley

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